NY cabbies don’t want ‘green’ taxis

NY cabbies don’t want ‘green’ taxis

The Metropolitan Taxicab Board of Trade which represented about a quarter of New York City’s 13,000 yellow taxis, filed a complaint in Manhattan federal court last week to prevent an City initiative that would see the entire fleet of NYC cabs turned ‘green’ by 2012. ‘Green’ means they conform to 7.8l/100km fuel economy.

In a typical show of American litigious overstatement, the MTBT states it is ‘irresponsible, dangerous and illegal.’ They do justify their point – apparently only federal government, not city officials can set fuel emission and efficiency standards. They also state that taxis undergo exceptionally heavy use, often being driven 24 hours a day, and that hybrids are untested in these types of situations.

But there are already around 1400 hybrid taxis in the city according to the Taxi and Limousine Commission.

Most taxis are driven at fairly low speeds, so a hybrid petrol/electric option might work, but there’s no guarantee it would get better mileage than some modern diesels (though, exhaust particulates will be less).

Obviously NYC hasn’t done enough to alleviate the cabbies’ concerns. If you were a taxi driver you’d be worried about repairs and maintenance costs, reliability, cost per kilometre, etc. These kinds of things have to be sold on many levels, not just because it is necessary to have them ‘green’ for environmental reasons. If the movies are anything to go by, NYC cabbies are aggressive, not of the hugest intellect, and stubborn. Those factors in themselves could make it difficult to explain the benefits of adopting new technology. And of course, how can you maintain your masculine cabbie persona driving a car powered by an electric motor?

The Metropolitan Taxicab Board of Trade which represented about a quarter of New York City’s 13,000 yellow taxis, filed a complaint in Manhattan federal court last week to prevent an City initiative that would see the entire fleet of NYC cabs turned ‘green’ by 2012. ‘Green’ means they conform to 7.8l/100km fuel economy.

In a typical show of American litigious overstatement, the MTBT states it is ‘irresponsible, dangerous and illegal.’ They do justify their point – apparently only federal government, not city officials can set fuel emission and efficiency standards. They also state that taxis undergo exceptionally heavy use, often being driven 24 hours a day, and that hybrids are untested in these types of situations.

But there are already around 1400 hybrid taxis in the city according to the Taxi and Limousine Commission.

Most taxis are driven at fairly low speeds, so a hybrid petrol/electric option might work, but there’s no guarantee it would get better mileage than some modern diesels (though, exhaust particulates will be less).

Obviously NYC hasn’t done enough to alleviate the cabbies’ concerns. If you were a taxi driver you’d be worried about repairs and maintenance costs, reliability, cost per kilometre, etc. These kinds of things have to be sold on many levels, not just because it is necessary to have them ‘green’ for environmental reasons. If the movies are anything to go by, NYC cabbies are aggressive, not of the hugest intellect, and stubborn. Those factors in themselves could make it difficult to explain the benefits of adopting new technology. And of course, how can you maintain your masculine cabbie persona driving a car powered by an electric motor?

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